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As February 14th approaches, I wanted to take some time to reflect on my season of singleness and what I’ve learned in the last year of truly being single.

There’s so much pressure for both men and women, but especially women, to find “the one” or be in a serious long term relationship.  For some reason, society still holds getting married high on the totem pole of accomplishments.  But am I the only one who just doesn’t see getting married as the pinnacle of success or achievement?

Don’t get me wrong, I want to get married one day. I want to have kids, have a family, and be a mom! BUT–I refuse to subscribe to the idea that my worth is dictated by whether or not I’ve found someone to do that with. There is this article I read a few months ago that articulates my thoughts on this–give it a read here. BUT–that’s not the point of today’s blog post, so I’ll let you read that and save the conversation for another day.

What I’m trying to say is that…there is nothing wrong with being single.  Have I ever felt left out, “behind” or unworthy because of my single state? Yes. I’m not going to lie. Family pressure, societal expectations…all of that has played into me feeling like I’m missing out because I’m not in a relationship.

But after getting out of a long term relationship and being single for the last 2.5 years, I can honestly say that I needed this time to grow and develop in ways that I couldn’t have when I was in a relationship. In the last 2.5 years, I’ve dated men but found myself uninspired by them and truthfully–I’m unwilling to settle. I’m a quality over quantity type of gal, and when it comes to men, it’s no exception. I’d rather be single than have a revolving door of men in my life. And in 2018, while I was walking through chronic and mental illness, I made the choice to stay single and only invest in myself.  Because quite frankly, I had no energy to give to someone else.  In this season of singleness, I have learned so many things about myself, who I want to be, and the person I want to be with.

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Here are my 5 lessons:

1.If you are unhappy with who you are or your life, being in a relationship isn’t going to fix that.

I am a late bloomer. I didn’t enter my first relationship until I was 24 and in that experience, I learned that being in a relationship doesn’t change how I feel about myself or my life.  I used to think that if I found someone to be with, then maybe I’d be happier with my life and feel more fulfilled.  And while that relationship did give me a lot of joy, it wasn’t the fix-all solution.  I had to overcome my insecurities on my own and become comfortable with who I am and all of my flaws.  I had to be willing to expose the ugly parts of me and recognize the things I needed to change.  I learned that if you’re an unhappy person, you will carry that into the relationship.  If you are truly in your core happy with who you are…you will also carry that into a relationship. And in my season of singleness, I have worked so hard to improve my mindset, to truly tap into my self-love and own who I am, my insecurities, and do my best to overcome them bit by bit. I truly feel that the next relationship I enter, I will be 100% better for my partner because I am doing the work to improve my physical, mental, and emotional health.

2. While I am extroverted in the sense that I love people and love connecting with others, I am also deeply introverted.

If you knew me in my early twenties, then you’d probably know me as a social butterfly.  I jumped at every opportunity to go out with friends, be out and about, socialize, and do all the young people things (LOL. I sound like the true grandma I am…*hairflip*). I honestly loved filling up my schedule, having my calendar booked, and seeing as many people as I could. But after getting out of my long term relationship and spending time with myself, I realized how truly introverted I am. I genuinely enjoy recharging by myself and appreciate alone time. I needed this season of singleness to tap into ME. I began realizing that having an empty schedule was what I actually needed. And instead of constantly filling up my downtime with being with my partner…I realized this shift was an important part of who I am.  I truly value alone time and need it. To create. To recharge. To be inspired. To write. To be me.

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3. Pain is a catalyst for change.

In my past breakups, I remember feeling the searing pain, heartbreak, and loneliness that ensued.  I remember feeling hopeless–how will I recover from this and find love again? But what being single has taught me is that the pain I felt is what I needed to ignite a fire in me. I’ll admit that it partly came from this feeling of: “Watch what you lost, sucker!” But ultimately, that pain that I felt was what I needed to make serious changes in my life. I began taking charge of my physical health, changed my eating habits, found a love for working out, moved back to California where I am ultimately happiest, decided on a career change, started this blog, ETC. The list goes on. If I were still in my past relationships, I guarantee you I would not have done these things because I couldn’t have or felt that I couldn’t.  Sometimes, a breakup is a blessing in disguise and the catalyst we need to make the changes we need and want in our lives.

4. I deserve to be with someone who supports me in my dreams and shares a life vision similar to mine.

Being single allowed me to reflect on my past relationships and recognize the things I love and need in a partner.  I spent a lot of time reflecting on what made things ultimately not work, why, and what to avoid when entering my next relationship. There are non-negotiables that I have for myself and for my partner and I know the bar that I’ve set for myself and for the person I want to be with.  There are particular qualities in a partner that I need and refuse to settle on.  In the past, I allowed people who didn’t have these qualities to enter in my life, though I knew it wouldn’t be good for me in the long term. My season of singleness is what gave me the space and time to realize these things, and I no longer will accept anyone who doesn’t meet the bar that I’ve set.

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5. In between the wait is a beautiful opportunity for growth and development. The wait is where we transform ourselves for the person we are meant to be with.

I know this is so cliché. But I believe this.  In the time that I’ve been single, I feel that I’ve blossomed in so many ways. The GLOW UP is real! Not just on the outside, but truly on the inside.  Being single gave me the space to start this blog, to pursue my creative passions, and to truly do things for me. It gave me the space to be selfish with my time and energy. It gave me time to heal from my past traumas, heal my mental and physical health, and ultimately gave me the space to come out stronger than I was before.

And so with Valentine’s Day approaching, I wanted to take the time to acknowledge all my single ladies out there. You are not any less worthy, any less beautiful, or any less than your counterpart who is in a relationship.

You are worthy, beautiful, accomplished, and a bad ass woman, regardless of your relationship status. Be confident in who you are, your gifts, and in your journey.  Being in a relationship is not a marker of success, nor does it determine your happiness or worth.  For the first time in a long time, I can honestly say that I am happy with who I am and who I’m becoming. So when and if that relationship is to come…I know that I will be bringing my best self. Cheers to this journey.

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What I’m Wearing:

This entire outfit is restyled! Unfortunately, the only exact item that is available is the shirt but in limited sizes. I did my best to find similar options for you. This would be a great outfit if you are celebrating Valentine’s or Galentine’s or just because. 🙂

Beautiful photos were taken by my dear friend Stacey! Check her out here!

 

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You can’t love others until you love yourself. You deserve love. Love yourself the way you want others to love you. These “love thyself” statements are thrown around in what seems every magazine article and every conversation these days.  But what does loving yourself and true self love actually look like? How can we actively practice self love? […]

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